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Increasing your site’s visibility to search engines

This guide shows you how to use Squarespace's SEO-targeting features and other tools to increase your site's visibility to search engines.

Note: Before you begin, please note that SEO strategy falls outside of the scope of Squarespace support. Because search engines have complex, frequently changing technology, and everyone's marketing needs are unique, we're unable to provide specific SEO advice to our customers.
Tip: For a top-level checklist of best practices, visit SEO checklist.

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Use search tools to maintain updates

Search engines won't notice changes to your site instantly. Google and Bing offer search tools to help you manage your site's search presence. Whenever you make major changes to your site, you can request that a search engine re-index your content by using these services:

Customize page and site titles

Search engines typically prioritize site titles, page titles, blog post titles, and headings. These titles also appear in browser tabs and search results, so it's important to write them so they’re friendly to both humans and search bots. To learn more, visit Adding keywords for SEO.

You can set default title formats for the homepage, collections (like Blog, Gallery, Album, Products, and Event Pages), and collection items (like blog posts and events). You can manually enter text or use default variables. Using default title formats, versus customizing them for every post, keeps your formatting consistent for all content. To learn more, visit Customizing title formats.

Differentiate SEO titles and navigation titles

Every page in your site has an SEO title, navigation title, and page title. You can edit these titles in Page Settings.

  • SEO titles - These appear in search results and browser tabs, and are indexed by search engines. We recommend adding an SEO title for each page. SEO titles are a good place to promote keywords for search engines.
  • Navigation titles - These create links in your navigation menus. It's best to keep these short, like "About" or "Contact."
  • Page titles - These appear on your site in some templates. Since there's more room on the page than in your navigation menu, these can be longer than navigation titles, like "About our company" or "Contact us." If there's no SEO title, the page title displays in search results.

To learn more, visit Editing page titles.

Add keywords strategically

As you add text to your site, include words and phrases that match the search terms people use to find sites like yours. These keywords help search engines see your site as relevant to the people looking for those search terms.

Your keyword strategy will depend on your site and the visitors you're trying to attract, and it's important to add keywords in a clear, natural way that makes sense to humans.

To learn more, visit Adding keywords for SEO.

Structure content with headings

Use heading text formatting to organize pages. Like titles, search engines typically give headings a higher priority. Clear headings that describe the content that follows make it easier for search engines to detect the major themes of your site. At the same time, they help visitors skim your page and quickly find the information they're looking for.

As a general rule, you should use headings in descending order to funnel visitors from the broadest information to the most specific. Keep these tips in mind:

  • Ensure you're using heading sizes consistently within the page and across your site.
  • When possible, avoid using headings to create formatting effects, such as pull quotes.
  • Don't use the exact same text for multiple headings.
  • Optimize your headings with keywords.
  • As long as headings are structured and consistent, you can use the same type of heading multiple times within a page. See the screenshot below for an example.

How you organize your site depends on your content, but here's one example of a well-structured page:

headings.png

Add alt text to images

Alt text is text associated with an image. This text displays when people hover over it, and makes your site more accessible.

Search engines use alt text to identify the content of a page, since bots can only read text. Adding alt text to images lets search engines understand what the image is so they can include it in relevant searches.

When adding alt text, it's best to use short, human-readable terms that describe the image and relate to your overall site content.

To learn more, visit Adding alt text to images.

Add tags and categories

Search engines scan tags and categories to identify what products, blog posts, or gallery images are about. Adding tags and categories that accurately describe the item could help it appear in search results.

Tip: Tags and categories also help visitors use your site, and appear in your site's search results.

Start blogging

You can add a blog to any Squarespace site. Blogging frequently helps search engines see your site as active. Even if you're a business and not a blogger, adding a Blog Page and updating it regularly with relevant content could potentially benefit your SEO while building your brand.

When adding blog posts, use tags and categories, and structure your posts with Heading 1 and Heading 2 formatting. Squarespace automatically gives blog post titles Heading 1 formatting on most templates.

As you write blog posts, think about your target audience and what they might be searching for to find a site like yours. Add content that would appeal to them, and optimize the posts with keywords, especially in post titles and headings.

Reduce page loading time

How long it takes for a page to load may impact its ranking in search results. Whenever possible, we recommend reducing your page size for faster loading.

List your physical location

If you're a business with a physical location, listing your address on your site could potentially help visitors find you in location-based services. There are many places where you can add your location:

Signing up for Google's My Business service can also help your local search ranking. Visit their FAQ to learn more.

Add site and page descriptions

Your site's search descriptions may appear below the title/link in search results, depending on the search terms used.

Visitors read these descriptions to decide if they want to click on your result. To make your site inviting, we recommend keeping your descriptions short, relevant, and readable.

To learn more, visit Adding site and page descriptions for SEO.

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Ensure SSL is enabled

When SSL is enabled, the custom URL starts with https. This means visitors access every page of your site with a secure connection. Search engines consider SSL important and may penalize sites that don't have it enabled.

If you're unsure if SSL is enabled for your site, check the SSL panel and confirm it's set to the Secure setting.

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Increasing your site’s visibility to search engines